Ramesh Naik

Ramesh was born in Zimbabwe on 19 November 1944. His father and mother went to what was then Rhodesia, from India, in 1920 and 1940 respectively. Ramesh attended the medical school set up by, and affiliated to, the University of Birmingham, and worked for a consultant kidney specialist from Birmingham. He came to the UK in July 1972 to study for his MRCP membership in Warwick, worked in Birmingham as Registrar, as a Senior Registrar in Portsmouth and then as a Consultant at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading where he is still currently based. Ramesh worked as Clinical Director of Medicine, followed by Divisional Director of Medicine for the Royal Berkshire & Battle NHS Trust and has engaged in a great deal of fundraising for the hospital, establishing its first kidney dialysis unit, as well as raising sufficient funds to bring the daughter of a colleague’s brother to the UK from Bangladesh, in order to treat her leukaemia  successfully. Medical students from Oxford have nominated him as Teacher of the Month on several occasions and he has been a regular examiner for the Royal College of Physicians.

Choosing a ‘White profession’

I was sitting in the background minding my own business and my parents turned to me and said, 'Well what are you going to do?' I said, 'I'm going to be a doctor' and they all fell off their chairs! Because there was no medicine in our family, nobody had even contemplated being a doctor and it would be something that for an Asian family just wasn't on. My parents felt it would be very expensive, that you'd have to compete in the environment where all the doctors in Rhodesia then were White and that you would never become a doctor as the road would be barred. It was a very White profession but I just felt I wanted to be a doctor, I wanted to serve people and I admired the doctors that worked in my community. They were all very well respected, they served the community, worked hard and I thought that's what I want to be. And then after that, I didn't want to do anything else.

Ramesh Naik

Zimbabwe